Jul 27, 2012

The Toll Booth Inside of You

I got a call at 4 AM – of the kind nobody wants.
“Listen, Shaun. Something’s not quite right,” my doctor said.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s the probes in your lungs,” he said. “They’re, uh, broadcasting. Are you sitting down?”
“Lying down,” I said.
“They’re not inside you anymore.” 

Closeup of a carbon nanotube.

Early in my life I began to express myself through writing. I dabbled in poetry first, though perhaps ‘dabble’ is an overgenerous term and ‘mucked about with’ comes closer to the truth.

Certain books made me realize that writing was not only a release, but also awesome and transformational, if you surrender to it. Here they are:

10 books that made me want to be a writer, in no particular order.

The Castle, The Trial, and Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka (especially The Castle)
The Left Hand of Darkness and The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin
 Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
Naked Lunch by W.S. Burroughs
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Les Chants de Maldoror, by Isidore Ducasse
Les Fleurs du Mal, by Charles Baudelaire

What about you? Can you name the 10 books that influenced you the most?

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